Smartphones are now a necessary part of our lives. We use them for communication, taking pictures, saving documents in the cloud, internet browsing and even as a power bank to charge other smartphones.
It is no longer a luxury as it was years ago.
According to Statista; the number of smartphone users worldwide today surpasses three billion and is forecast to further grow by several hundred million in the next few years. China, India, and the United States are the countries with the highest number of smartphone users, with each country easily surpassing the 100 million user mark.
In the past five years, about 1.4 billion smartphones were sold worldwide annually.
But how do you know what exact smart phone to buy with the wide variety of smartphones available in the market. It is always tough deciding the one that may best suit your needs.
Let Ibiene take that burden off your mind with this guide that can help you when considering buying your next smarthone.
There are some people that will stand on a queue overnight just to purchase the latest iPhone. This is because they value the operating system. So, before you go buy a phone, learn some basic differences between the operating systems.
The iOS is known for its ease of use, security, and clean integration especially with Apple products (iPhone, iPad).
Android is associated with its integration of Google services, its ability to be customized, and typically a lower cost.
If you can, try demo-ing a device at a store. That will give you a good sense of the interface and feel of each operating system.
Your price range:
This matters because you buy what you can afford. iOS phones (iPhones) are typically more expensive than their Android counterparts. This is somewhat now arguable as some android phones with updated and sophisticated features price themselves as much as the iOS product. Among phone manufacturers, Apple and Samsung are typically among the most expensive (with models ranging from $400-$700 retail), while HTC, LG, and Motorola tend to produce lower cost options (some low end smartphones can be acquired for under $100).
How large is the Storage?
This has proven to be the biggest headache for most phone users. It becomes frustrating that anytime you attempt to take a picture with your sophisticated camera, you get a notification saying limited storage and then you have to begin to delete old files. Note that a large part of the smartphone’s storage is taken away from the OS (operating system) and the apps the device comes pre-installed with.
These days it is best you go for 32GB storage, 64GB or 128GB variants. You can also buy a 16GB model that supports microSD card as well. Although most phones being produced in recent times do not give space for external storage devices.
The size and resolution of the display chosen is largly dependent on how you use your smartphone. If you often stream videos, edit photos or videos, or download and view movies, then a smartphone display ranging from 5.5-inch to 6-inch, full-HD or QHD resolution should be good enough for you.
Anything larger than a 6-inch display not just makes the handset extra bulky, but also difficult to carry around. If you are a regular user and largely use the smartphone for checking emails, chatting and browsing social media apps, then anything from 5-inch to 5.5-inch HD or full-HD display handsets is perfect. You want to enjoy your phone anytime you look at it.
The battery usage differs from user to user depending on the way he/she uses the smartphone. If you are a heavy user and work on apps, play games, stream videos and more then go for a smartphone with at least 3500mAh battery or above. If you are an average or light user, a handset with 3000mAh battery would be good enough to run for a full day.
This has become all the more important since your smart phone has become your “Personal Assistant”. Most smartphones these days come with extra security features such as fingerprint sensor or even iris sensors. These are not just to lock/unlock a handset but as a password to access certain files, documents or apps.
It is recommended to buy a smartphone with these extra security features since most of us have personal information on our handsets these days.
Do things fall from your hands easily or you just drop things with a bang? You should pay attention to this.
Build is all about durability!
The entire handset market is largely divided in two types of builds — metal and plastic. There are some that even have glass-coated panels, but those are very limited. If you are one of those prone to dropping your smartphone, it is advisable to go for a metal or a plastic built handset as these can sustain drops from 2-3 feet, while glass-based handset are sure to shatter.
For those who pay attention to their pictures, like sharing photos with friends and family, make sure you’re buying a phone with a good camera. Most of the more expensive phones (the Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X) are particularly adept at taking pictures in low light, too, which means you’ll still get good pictures in a dim restaurant without the flash.
Budget phones don’t usually have great cameras, so consider spending a bit more if this is important to you.
It can be tempting to buy a refurbished or older-model smartphone to save some cash but there are a few things to consider before you do. If it’s too old (typically 2-3 years) it might soon stop getting important software updates, including security patches. Also, as apps become more powerful, the processor and memory do not offer enough power to run the latest games or photo-editing software. If you’re just sending texts and checking e-mail, however, a refurbished or older phone could be a perfect fit.
Finally, few other things to consider include; does it have stereo speakers? Does it support wireless charging? Does it have a headphone jack or will you need to use Bluetooth headphones or an adapter with your wired headset? Does it support newer 5G networks? This last question should be considered because as countries roll out their 5G networks, phone manufacturing companies will immediately move with the times. If you want a bit of future-proofing, consider that, too.
What makes you tick in a smartphone? Do share with us in the comment section.